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Rice Terraces no longer ‘endangered’

More than a decade after landing on the List of World Heritage in Danger, the Rice Terraces of Philippine Cordilleras has been removed from the list.

MANILA, June 27 (Mabuhay) – The Aquino administration welcomed the decision of the 36th Session of the World Heritage Committee to formally remove the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras from its List of World Heritage in Danger due to improvements in conservation efforts.

“This is a victory for the joint public and private sector initiative to protect one of our most valuable natural treasures, which in 1995 became the first-ever property to be inscribed in the cultural landscape category of the World Heritage List,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

According to a report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)- National Commission of the Philippines, the 36th Session of the World Heritage Committee noted that the Philippines had successfully met the desired state of conservation through successful landscape restoration and conservation, protection and planning, and proper management.

Since 2001, when the Rice Terraces was officially listed as one of the world’s treasures at risk, the Philippines has vigorously acted to save and protect the site.

“Over the years, the collaboration between the government and other private stakeholders has systematically conserved the rice terraces and its watersheds, while promoting or re-introducing the site’s ancestral traditions that are crucial to its sustained development,” Lacierda said.

Lacierda said the government commended the efforts of the Ifugao Provincial Government, its Ifugao Cultural Heritage Office, the UNESCO NatCom, and other agencies that have contributed to this continuing success.

“With this reclassification and future responsible stewardship, Filipinos may take pride once more in having one of our own as a globally-recognized and important cultural landscape,” he said.(MNS)

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